Displaying items by tag: ascension of Jesus http://www.prca.org Sun, 28 May 2023 05:30:33 -0400 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb May 2014 RWH Sermon Booklet http://www.prca.org/theme/resources/sermons/reading/reformed-witness-hour/item/3632-may-2014-rwh-sermon-booklet http://www.prca.org/theme/resources/sermons/reading/reformed-witness-hour/item/3632-may-2014-rwh-sermon-booklet

May2014-RWH CoverThe May 2014 radio messages of the Reformed Witness Hour are now available in print form. The four messages were delivered by Rev.R.Kleyn, pastor of Covenant of Grace PRC in Spokane, WA and conclude a series on the OT book of Job as well as contain a special message for Ascension Day.

The entire booklet in pdf form is attached here. But you may also find these four messages separately on the website at the links below:

1. May 4, 2014 - Job Repents in Dust and Ashes, Job #12

2. May 11, 2014 - God Rebukes Job’s Friends, Job #13

3. May 18, 2014 - The Blessed End of Job’s Life, Job #14

4. May 25, 2014 - Jesus’ Desire for Us to Be with Him (Ascension Day)

r.kleyn@prca.org (Kleyn, Rodney) Reformed Witness Hour Sermons in Print Sat, 31 May 2014 08:55:42 -0400
The Exaltation of Christ http://www.prca.org/theme/resources/publications/articles/item/3620-the-exaltation-of-christ http://www.prca.org/theme/resources/publications/articles/item/3620-the-exaltation-of-christ

Taken from The Standard Bearer, v.44, Issue 9 - February 1, 1968

Written by Rev.Robert C. Harbach, now in glory.

Modernist religion has no place for the exaltation of Christ. A well known advocate of religious liberals and modernist "theology" was Professor George Burman Foster, of the University of Chicago, who later in life was pastor of a Unitarian church. In the preface to a certain volume he openly denied every one of the Christian fundamentals of the faith. On the exaltation of Christ he said, "According to orthodoxy, the Son of God laid aside his divine glory and then took it up again. He alienated from himself certain divine qualities, and then integrated them again. What is meant is at bottom good, viz., that the great and merciful God serves us, and is not too good for our daily human food. Perhaps the form of the orthodox doctrine was necessary' when the doctrine was excogitated, but that terrible being, the modern man, cannot do anything with it." (As quoted from "Christianity In Its Modern Expression," p. 144, inSystematic Theology, Berkhof, I, 348).

The reason the modern mind cannot do anything with this doctrine of Christ's exaltation is because of an overpowering natural aversion to it. "The Logos involved the central assertion that God can come into the world. . . and into man his child. . .Jesus was essentially the forth going of God himself into his world. This philosophical approach to the understanding of Jesus is less congenial with our modern minds . . .The modern mind often feels positive and indignant aversion against such theological construing of the Master." (Harry Emerson Fosdick, quoted in "The Leaven of the Sadducees," 224). The ascension is just as offensive to the modern mind. "On Ascension day it becomes difficult to refrain from satire. To speak of this event as one of actual occurrence is simply to affront educated people at this time. . ." (Strauss). "The farewell of Jesus to the earth could be imagined literally as a physical levitation until he was received into heaven a definite distance above the ground. . .The marvel is not that such a picture of the Master's going and return should arise (but) that after that old world had been so long outgrown. . .many. . .should still retain the old picture of our Lord's ascent (Fosdick, ibid., 223)." The final stage of His exaltation is regarded as "Jewish apocalypticism," and "the future judgment is only a rabbinical vision (ibid., 221)." 

This is to make the whole Bible, Old and New Testaments, an antiquated Jewish mythology, a product of Pharisaical dyspeptic fancies. But shall we listen to modern man's wisdom (I Cor. 2:4) with his nihilistic denials, or to the overwhelming testimony of irrefutable witnesses, that of holy men of God, who were not swept away with the wisdom of this world (I Cor. 1:20, 2:6), but were carried along by the Holy Spirit? Through them the infallible Word of God was given, which plainly states that the humiliation of Christ was followed by His exaltation. Mark states that after He had been crucified, buried and raised, He was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God (Mark 16:19). Luke insists that of necessity He had to suffer and enter into His glory (Luke 24:26). John saw Him, handled Him in the days of His humiliation as One yet to be glorified (John 7:39). Paul kept the facts of history straight when he recorded that Christ came into the world (I Tim. 1:15), died, was raised, ascended and now intercedes for us (Rom. 8:34). 

But while the false church has always denied it, the true church has always confessed that the state of Christ's exaltation consists of the mighty victories of His resurrection, ascension, sitting at the right hand of the Father, and His coming again to judge the world. In His resurrection He was exalted in that His very same body which suffered on the cross was raised from the dead by His own power, and united to His soul; that He vanquished death and him that had the power of it; and did so as a public person, the Head of the Church, to assure His people of their resurrection from the dead at the last day. In His ascension He was exalted in that He, in our human nature, as our Head, visibly went up into the highest heavens, triumphing over all His and our enemies, there receiving gifts for men, there to prepare a place for us, till his second coming at the end of the world. In His sitting at the right hand of God He was exalted in the highest advancement to the divine favor, to the fullness of joy, glory and power over all things in heaven and earth. There He gathers, defends and preserves His Church, puts down their enemies, and ever lives to make intercession for them. In His coming again to judge the world He shall be exalted in great power and glory, to be visibly revealed to all the world of angels and men, as the King of glory, with a shout, the voice of the archangel, the trumpet of God. (Cp. Larger Catechism, 51-56 with Scripture proof texts). 

Roman Catholics teach that the exaltation of Christ began between His death and resurrection. Then occurred the descension into hell, by which is not meant that He went to hell in the modern, popular sense of the word, not the hell of the eternally lost, but to the limbus partum, which, like limbus infantum, is one of the compartments of hell. There the souls of the O.T. patriarchs and saints were held in reserve for their being taken to heaven at the ascension. But Hebrews 11:40 at once disposes of such a view. It is this view, if anything, which is "Jewish apocalypticism" and rabbinical mirage. For between His death and resurrection Christ's spirit was in the hands of His Father, absent from the body, which was then in the grave, and present in Paradise (Luke 23:46, 43). Nor care we a thing for the rationalization that "into Thy hands" can also include hell, since Scripture says, "If I made my bed in hell, behold, Thou art there (Ps. 139:8)." For it is plain that at death "the spirit shall return to God who gave it" (Eccl. 12:7), and "God is in heaven (Eccl. 5:2)." Whereas modern Arians and Socinians openly deny the Lord's exaltation, Romanists pretend to own it, but deny it with their goddess idol of a woman, self-confessed in need of a Savior (Luke 1:47), set up over Christ. They make a practical denial of Him to be God over all in denying Him to be sole sovereign over all worlds. The Arminian also denies the exaltation in making Him a pitiful, frustrated Savior who has done all He could to save all men from hell, including those now in hell and going there, but could not save them without their help or cooperation. 

Christ was officially as Redeemer exalted to the throne of God. There He applies the purchase of His redemption to those for whom the price was paid. The Romish promiscuous redeemer leaves many of the redeemed unredeemed after all. The Arminian disappointed redeemer loses, after all his pains and sufferings, what he had purchased. But the only Redeemer of God's elect paid the ransom price, which recovers and restores His clients. He paid no uncertain sum to purchase any merit or a righteousness which hangs in suspense until those for whom it was paid accept it. He paid a definite price for His covenant people, knowing exactly what, how much and for whom He paid. As exalted King He makes sovereign demand of the property His redemption purchased. Nor can it be that any He redeemed shall not be His purchased possession! 

Christ was also officially exalted as infallible Head of the Church. Infallible as Head He is, because He never delegates His headship or resigns His authority and sovereignty. The O.T. priests passed out of the tenure of their office on account of death, and were followed by a successor. On the contrary, Christ, being exalted, dieth no more, but ever liveth hence has no successor. There is but one covenant Head in heaven, one ruling Head, one mediatorial Head, so that all usurpers of this supremacy and dignity must be put to shame. Any influence or authority interposed between God and man other than the exalted Christ himself is insult to God, rejection of Christ and deceiving of the people. 

Christ exalted is, according to God's Word, described as having in glory head and hair white as wool giving off a blinding brightness as sunlight on snow; His eyes flashing as lightning are equally blinding; so His feet appearing as gold-bronze white-hot in the refiner's furnace and burning out all evil trod upon; His whole appearance is as the sun shining in full strength. It is therefore impossible to gaze upon His appearance as it is to gaze on the sun's incandescence. In fact, no one can look upon any one part of His whole appearance without being blinded by His glory. For every single aspect of His appearance bears the glory and intensity of light brighter than the sun (Rev. 1:13-16). His transcendent glory swallows up the majesty of kings, eclipses the splendor of empires, dims the gaudy pageantry of kingdoms, and crowns Him with many crowns. In the latter-day glory, kings, the nursing fathers of the kingdom shall bring gifts, while queens shall be nursing mothers of the church, when He shall possess the gold of Sheba and Ophir, when Arabians on dromedaries shall bring Him gold and incense and show forth the praises of the Lord.

Spurgeon well expressed God's point of view: "The world has not gone to confusion; chance is not God; God is still Master, let men do what they will, and hate the truth we now prize, they shall after all do what God wills, and their direst rebellion shall prove but a species of obedience, though they know it not. He is God—know that, ye inhabitants of the land! and all things, after all, shall serve Him. I like what Luther says in his bold hymn, where, notwithstanding all that those who are haters of predestination choose to affirm, he knew and boldly declared, 'He everywhere hath sway, and all things serve His might.'"

robertharbach@exampleprca.org (Harbach, Robert) Articles Wed, 21 May 2014 22:14:58 -0400
418. Praise the Lord, Ye Lands http://www.prca.org/theme/resources/worship-devotional/psalter/item/3094-418-praise-the-lord-ye-lands http://www.prca.org/theme/resources/worship-devotional/psalter/item/3094-418-praise-the-lord-ye-lands


Verse 1
Praise the Lord, ye lands;
Nations, clap your hands;
Shout aloud to God,
Spread His fame abroad;
Praise Him loud and long
With a triumph song;
Bow as ye draw nigh,
For the Lord Most High,
Terrible is He
In His dignity;
And His Kingdom's girth
Circles all the earth.

Verse 2
God has gone on high
With a joyful cry;
Hosts with trumpet sound
Make His praise abound;
Sing ye praise to God,
Tell His fame abroad,
Take a psalm and shout,
Let His praise ring out,
Lift your voice and sing
Glory to our King;
He is Lord of earth,
Magnify His worth.

Verse 3
Praise His majesty
God is King alone
On His holy throne,
Issues His commands
To all heathen lands.
Lo, the princes all
Gather at His call;
His the shields of earth,
His the power, the worth;
He, the God on high,
Is our Helper nigh.


danny@socialvillage.ie (Super User) Psalter Tue, 07 May 2013 15:36:22 -0400
Jesus' Desire for Us to be With Him http://www.prca.org/theme/resources/sermons/reading/reformed-witness-hour/item/3631-jesus-desire-for-us-to-be-with-him http://www.prca.org/theme/resources/sermons/reading/reformed-witness-hour/item/3631-jesus-desire-for-us-to-be-with-him


Jesus’ Desire for Us to Be with Him
Broadcast Date: May 25, 2014 (#3725)
Radio pastor: Rev. Rodney Kleyn

Dear Radio Friends,

In John 17:24-26 Jesus prays, “Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me:  for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.  O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee:  but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me.  And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it:  that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.” 

        What a beautiful prayer.  Jesus says, “Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory.” 

        Have you ever stood at the deathbed or the grave of a loved one whom you know is a child of God?  That is a very difficult thing to do.  It is the end of our earthly ties.  Death has come and taken one away from us.  A loneliness overwhelms us.  As you go through that, dear child of God, you should think of these words of Jesus, this prayer:  “That they may be with me where I am.”  In the death of a believer, this prayer of Jesus is answered.  Psalm 116 says, “Precious in the sight of the Lordis the death of his saints.”  Why?  Because in death God brings His people to be with Him in glory.

        We should not be afraid of death but should see it as the doorway to heaven, as God’s servant, to bring us to glory.  When you see your loved one dying, when you have to bring a child to the grave, when you are left behind as a widow, then remember, God is answering this prayer of Jesus to bring all His own to be with Him in heaven.  And someday all of God’s people, all of us, will be with Him, too.

        What a beautiful prayer!  There is great triumph in these words of Jesus.  “They all will be with Me in glory!”  As believers, we should have that kind of triumph in the face of death.  Like Job, in chapter 19:25-27:  “For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:  and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:  whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.”  That is triumph in death. 

        Or, like Paul in I Corinthians 15:51-57:  “We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump:  for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed….  O death, where is thy sting?  O grave, where is thy victory?...  Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 

        Or, again, you hear this confidence of Paul in II Corinthians 5:1:  “For we know [we know, he says] that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heaven.” 

        Or, again, in Philippians 1, he says:  “I have a desire to depart and to be with the Lord, which is far better; for to me to live is Christ, but to die is gain.”  There is a confidence, a certainty, a comfort that we should have as we think about death.  And this prayer of Jesus, “that they may be with Me,” breathes with this certainty.

        In these verses, Jesus not only finishes His high priestly prayer of chapter 17, but He also brings to a conclusion an extended discourse of comfort to His disciples that began in chapter 14:1.  The disciples were troubled that Jesus was leaving them.  And so He begins in chapter 14:  “Let not your heart be troubled:  ye believe in God, believe also in me.  In my Father’s house are many mansions:...I go to prepare a place for you,... I will come again and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”  And now, four chapters later, He finishes on that same note:  “Father, that they may be with me where I am.”  Let us remember that Jesus prayed these words out loud in the presence of His disciples.  He did it for them to hear, for us to hear.  And we should be impressed with the certainty and the assurance with which He spoke. 

        Jesus here does not simply wish or hope or even simply request something.  No, it is much more certain and sure than that.  He addresses God with confidence.  “Father,” He says.  “Father.”  When Jesus taught His disciples to pray, He taught them to approach God with a childlike confidence.  “Our Father which art in heaven.”  And now He uses the same address to God Himself.  But there is a difference.  This is the difference.  Jesus prays, not as an adopted child of God, but as the eternal Son of God, equal Himself in power and glory to the Father.  He speaks in these verses of the eternal glory and love that He shared with the Father.  He does not come to God as a beggar.  He does not come uncertain.  He is saying, “Father, let us bring them to glory.”  That is the force of what Jesus says. 

        And that comes out in the words that He uses in this petition.  He says, “I will that they be with me.”  That is a rather strange way to make a petition.  It is closer to a demand than a request.  If our children would come to us and say, “I will that you give me my supper,” we would say to them, “That’s not the way to ask for things.”  And nowhere in the Bible do men (and are we instructed to) pray this way to God.  But when it comes to Jesus, it is quite appropriate that He put it this way, because He is expressing, as the Son, the will of the triune God—the unchanging, eternal will of God.  This is the heart of God.  And because it is, it cannot be changed.  All that the Father has given to Christ will come to Him and will be with Him in glory eternally.

        This prayer, I say, breathes with certainty.  What a comfort for the believer in death. 

        That certainty comes out again in the grounds or the reasons that Jesus gives for why God should answer this prayer.  In verse 24 He speaks of the fact that the Father has given them to Him and of God’s eternal love for Him as the Son.  “For thou hast loved me from before the foundation of the world.”  This is what He means, that if God would not bring His elect, those given Him, to glory, if one of them should perish, that would be the same as God breaking His love, His eternal love, to His Son.  “Father,” He says, “You’ve given them to Me and You love Me.  And so, You must bring them to glory.”

        And then, in verse 25, He gives two more reasons for God to hear this prayer.  First, God is a righteous Father.  “O righteous Father,” He says.  Jesus means, “I have finished the work that I had to do for them.  I have kept them.  I have taught them.  I have done everything necessary for their salvation.”  He speaks here before the cross as though it is accomplished.  He says, “I have laid down my life for them.  O righteous Father, their sins have been paid.  Bring them to glory.  Be righteous.” 

        And then at the end of verse 25 He appeals to the faith of His people.  He says, “These have known thee, and have known that Thou hast sent Me.  Father,” He is saying, “they believe.  Their trust is in Me.  They find all their salvation in what I have done for them.  Father, bring them to glory.” 

        And so, this is a prayer that rings with certainty.  It is closer to a pronouncement than a petition.  “All that the Father has given me shall be with me where I am, to behold my glory.”  Believing in Jesus, we can have assurance and confidence of a place in Father’s house of many mansions.  We do not have to be afraid of death or hell. 

        There are two parts to Jesus’ petition here.  First, “that they may be with me where I am,” and then, second, “that they may behold my glory.”  You will notice that when Jesus says, “that they may be with me where I am,” He speaks in the present tense:  where I am.  And, again, there is confidence in the petition.  At the moment He speaks these words, He is in Judea, about to be arrested and crucified.  But He has in view where He will be beyond His death and resurrection—in His eternal state of glory.  He means in heaven—that they may be with Me where I am.  He has heaven, and bringing His people to heaven with Him, before Him as the goal and the purpose of His going to the cross.

        Now, what is heaven?  There are many different ideas that people have about what heaven is.  Most of them are very earthly.  A person describes heaven in terms of what he likes here on the earth.  If he likes golf, that is what he hopes heaven will be.  If he likes shopping or horseback riding, that is what heaven will be for him.  And so heaven is viewed by most as the best of what you enjoy in this life.  Maybe a slight improvement because some of the difficulties of life will be gone. 

        Is that a proper view of heaven?  No, it is not.  And thank God that it is not.  Heaven is portrayed in Scripture as the indescribable.  It is something beyond our experience.  Eye hath not seen nor ear heard, neither has anyone ever been able even to imagine the things that God has in store for those who love Him.  The essence, the heart, the joy, the pleasure of heaven is described by Jesus here in the words “that they may be with me.”  That is what heaven will be:  to be with Jesus.  Heaven is not, first, deliverance from suffering.  It is not the pearly gates and the streets of gold.  But, that they may be with Me. 

        That’s heaven—to be with Jesus, to enjoy covenant life and communion with Him in perfection.  Death, all by itself, is a very lonely state.  Cemeteries are very lonely places.  Hell is even more lonely.  But in heaven, the covenant Christ will bring us to be with Him.  Revelation 21:  “God himself shall be with them and be their God, and they shall be his people.”  That is heaven—to be with Jesus.

        That is why heaven can only be for believers.  I suspect that there are people, many of them, who will say, “If that’s all heaven is, to be with Jesus, then I’m not interested.  I have a lot more fun without Jesus.”  It is only if you believe in Jesus today and love Him in this life, that you will be with Him in heaven.  And if you do not believe, and  if you do not love Him, you will spend eternity without Him in the suffering of hell.

        I want to make a point of this.  I want to emphasize it because today there is a crazy notion about, one that has become quite popular, that everyone is going to be in heaven in the end, that hell will be empty because God’s love wins.  God’s love is supposed to be so strong that no one will be in hell.  You know what that message is?  It is a crafty lie of the devil that comes from hell itself.  Satan does not want us to think that hell is real.  It is a message that tells people that they do not need to believe the gospel and they do not need to trust in Jesus for salvation.  It is a lie that tells people that they are OK where they are at—that they do not need to repent of their sins, that they do not need to put their faith in Christ.  And it denies the whole gospel of the cross and the death and the suffering of Christ for sin.  You do not need the Savior.  You are OK, because God’s love will win in the end and everybody will be in heaven.

        No, Jesus says heaven is to be with Him.  If you do not want Him in your life today, you will not have Him in life eternal.  Heaven is for all those whom the Father has given to Jesus (v. 24).  Heaven is for all those who heard and believed on the Son.  Heaven is reserved for believers only.  Heaven is secured by Jesus’ death for God’s elect alone.  And hell, the Bible tells us, the lake of fire, the place of eternal suffering, is reserved, it is prepared by a just God, for all who refuse to obey the gospel and will not repent of their sins and believe and trust in Jesus alone for salvation.  Hell is real.  And if you are not a believer, you ought to be terrified of death because it will bring you before God the Judge and lead you to the eternal lake of fire.

        And so Jesus’ prayer for believers is “that they may be with me.”

        Then the second part of His request is:  “that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me.”  What is that glory?  Jesus does not mean His inherent glory as the eternal Son of God.  Only God can see that glory and live.  He does not mean, either, the glory that He displayed on earth during His ministry, which the disciples beheld.  Nor does He mean His glory that He shows in and through us by our godly living.  Rather, He refers to the glory of His exaltation:  “which thou hast given me.”  The glory that the apostle Paul saw on the Damascus road, and that John saw by vision in Revelation 1.  The glory spoken of in Philippians 2:  “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name.”  And when Jesus says, “that they may behold my glory,” He means that His people will not only see but also partake in and reflect His glory in themselves perfectly.  It will not be simply that we will see Him.  But when we see Him, we shall be like Him. 

        That is Jesus’ desire and prayer for His people:  “Father, that they may be with me.”  And in just a few hours, God answered that prayer.  You remember Jesus on the cross and the words of the converted thief.  He says to Jesus, “Remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.”  And Jesus’ answer is:  “Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.” 

        What was the experience of that sinner who died with the confession on his lips?  Words fail to say it, do they not?  We know a little of what it is to be with Christ.  We have a taste of that already now.  There are high points in our lives when we walk close to the Lord and enjoy His presence and love.  But the fullness of it is yet to come.  That is what we wait for.  This is our hope—to be with the Lord.  This will be our eternal privilege—to be with Christ.  This is what we will do in heaven—we will behold His glory.  And, looking on Him, we will be like Him.  John says, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be.”  He means, it is not exactly clear to us what our glory will be in heaven.  But, he continues, “We know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is” (I John 3:2).

        What a blessed day.  Not only when Christ shall come, but blessed day also when I shall go to be with Him.  If you have that hope today, then you will be filled with love for Christ today.  John, in I John 3:3, continues:  “And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” 

        Dear believer, when you die, you will be with Christ.  You will see Christ.  You will be like Christ.  Remember that today.  You are bought with a price.  Sanctify the Lord God in your heart.  Let the love of Christ dwell in you richly to make you like Him already today.

        Let us pray.

               Lord, give us to see Thy glory and the glory of Thy Son Jesus Christ so that we may persevere in hope and holiness till the day when we shall be with Him and become like Him.  Lord Jesus, come, come quickly.  Amen.

r.kleyn@prca.org (Kleyn, Rodney) Reformed Witness Hour Sermons in Print Sat, 31 May 2014 08:34:41 -0400
I Go to Prepare a Place for You http://www.prca.org/theme/resources/sermons/reading/reformed-witness-hour/item/3658-i-go-to-prepare-a-place-for-you http://www.prca.org/theme/resources/sermons/reading/reformed-witness-hour/item/3658-i-go-to-prepare-a-place-for-you


Theme: "I Go to Prepare a Place for You"
Broadcast Date: June 1, 2014 (No. 3726)
Radio pastor:Rev. Carl Haak

Dear Radio Friends,

Our message today is taken from the beautiful words of our Lord in John 14:1-3:  “Let not your heart be troubled:  ye believe in God, believe also in me.  In my Father’s house are many mansions:  if it were not so, I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”

        How many of God’s children have been comforted by these words of our Lord!  How many have had their hearts made calm in the deepest trial and sorrow by remembering these blessed words!  How many hospital rooms, funeral parlors, and how many believers in moments of heaviest grief, loss, pain, sorrow have found our Lord’s words here of tremendous comfort, of victory, and of eternal life!

        Now Jesus is speaking them again to us.  He is speaking to us through His Word right now the one thing that is most necessary for our life, that we hear His own words and that we receive them with a believing heart.

        In John 14 our Lord is speaking to us as He was about to leave His disciples in such a way that they could not follow Him.  He was saying to them and to us that He would go away from us through the cross and through the resurrection from the dead and, then, after forty days, He would ascend up into heaven.  He would travel the path that the Father had laid out for Him in order to accomplish the entirety of our salvation.  The Word of God tells us in Hebrews 6:20 that He is the forerunner who has for us entered into the heavenlies; that He was the one according to Isaiah 63 who would tread the winepress of God’s wrath all alone; that He would obtain our salvation and then return to His heavenly Father in a glorious ascension.

        The Lord tells us that everything that He ever did on earth was always for us, for the elect, whom the Father had entrusted to His care.  And He tells us now that through that work we also have access into the grace of eternal life; that we, too, have access to heaven; and that He goes to heaven to prepare a place for us.

        From every point of view, then, the gospel that we hear today is a wonderful word of comfort and victory for us as children of God.  Jesus begins with the words, “Let not your heart be troubled.”  The word “trouble” there means “thrown into fear, anxiety, or confusion.”  Do not have your heart thrown about with fears and confusions.  How weak are our hearts. 

        At that point the disciples were filled with sorrow, despair.  They were feeling that they were being forsaken.  And what about us?  Can you count the troubles of one day in your heart—the worries, the fears, the burdens over sin, the anxiety, the grief?  And we have no defense of ourselves to keep all of that out of our hearts.  There are no bars, there are no bolts, and there are no locks to keep trouble out of your heart.

        But now listen to Jesus.  “Let not your heart be troubled:  ye believe in God, believe also in me.”  The remedy for our troubled hearts is faith in the living God and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and to listen, listen to Him.  Then, to buttress and support the call that we are to put away a troubled heart, the Lord tells us that He goes away (in the ascension up into heaven), but that He goes away for a gracious purpose, a gracious purpose for us.  “I’m going away to prepare a place for you in My Father’s house of mansions.”

        Let us think about that!  What a wonderful place.  He speaks to us of Father’s house.  “In my Father’s house are many mansions:  …I go to prepare a place for you.”  Very plainly, Jesus Christ is talking about heaven, and that in the ascension forty days after His resurrection from the dead He would go there in His glorified body.  He would go back to His home in heaven.  He had taught us that He came down from heaven (John 3:13).  And, having completed the work that the Father gave Him to do, He would ascend up where He was before (John 6:62).  Heaven is Father’s house.  Heaven, then, is not a cold, sterile, empty place.  To Jesus it was the place where He enjoyed perfect love and peace and joy and warmth of fellowship with His Father.  He was eager to return.

        Now, I know that the language is figurative.  It is borrowed from this present life:  house and mansions.  But, you see, heaven is a real place.  It is more real than anything we know here below.  You say to me, “Where is heaven?”  I do not know.  Eye has not seen and ear has not heard and it has not entered into the heart of man to conceive.  It is exalted in glory.  It is totally different from the earthly.  It is full of wonder and praise.  But it is not a dream.  It is not something made up in our imaginations.  It is God’s dwelling.  It is His house.  He has a throne there, and His honor is shown there.  It is Father’s house.  It is the place where all of God’s glory and love and mercy is to be felt and experienced through Jesus Christ.  That is what makes heaven heaven. 

        Do not misunderstand.  Heaven is glorious.  It is unimaginably beautiful.  The Bible tells us in Revelation that it has streets of gold and gates of pearl and rivers of life.  Heaven and everything about it reflects God’s glory.  It is unspeakably beautiful.  But the true beauty of heaven does not lie in the place itself, but in the fact that God is there.  Father is there.  Heavenly, almighty Father of Jesus is there.

        Is that not true in your earthly life as well?  You know that, do you not?  A house may be elegant.  It may be the house of your dreams—staggering in its design, best building materials, ten rooms, five baths.  But if father and mother are not there, it is a shell.  On the contrary, you may be in a humble home.  It may be somewhat cramped.  But if father and mother are there, your children are happy.  And if you live in love before them, then, the Bible says, it is better to be there, better to be in a humble abode where the love of God is, than in a rich dwelling where there are contentions.  So also, perfectly, what makes heaven heaven is that God is there.  There His warmth of eternal love and mercy and grace are to be experienced, which more than swallow up all of our sorrow and death and tears. 

        Jesus said, “I am going to that place.”  That is what happened in the Ascension, forty days after He arose from the dead.  Jesus crossed over the great Jordan and entered into the heavenly Canaan and took up His place at God’s right hand upon the throne in heaven.  And that, too, makes heaven heaven.  If Jesus were not there, if the only begotten Son of God, the crucified Savior, the risen Lord, were absent—well, that cannot be.  Then it would not be heaven.  But He is there!  And we shall sit at His feet.  The Lamb Himself shall lead us and bring us to fountains of living water, says the book of Revelation.  That is what makes heaven heaven.

        Now He says to us that in His Father’s house are many mansions.  That is, heaven is a place that is more than adequate for all the children of God.  It is a place of full and uninterrupted glory for each child of God.  The Lord confirms it.  He says, “If it were not so (that it is a place of many mansions), I would have told you.  If it were not spacious and glorious, I would have said so.”  You are going to another place.  You are going to go to heaven as a child of God.  You ask, “Is there room?”  Jesus says, “I told you.  There are many mansions there.”  It is a roomy place, a place for all of God’s children — for the most renowned of those children (David and Daniel and Paul and Moses, Luther and Calvin and Augustine) — a place for the lowliest, humblest (for the thief on the cross, for the woman at Jacob’s well, and for me).  A countless throng shall be there, a throng that no man can number, vast and glorious.  It is a place of mansions.  And that means that in every one of us will be seen the dazzling display of the wonderful grace and love of Jesus.  “In my Father’s house are many mansions.”

        “I go to prepare a place for you.”  What the Lord means to say is that His ascension up into heaven makes it possible for us also to go there.  That is the gospel.  Apart from Jesus and apart from His work, there would be no place in heaven for you.  Without His death upon a cross you would have no right to enter.  And without His resurrection and ascension into heaven and the return of the Holy Spirit into your heart you could not be made ready to enter into that place. 

        That was His work — the whole work of Jesus was this:  that He be born under our sin; that He die on a cross for our sin; that He be raised again the third day with newness of life as the Head of the church for all of His own; and now that He ascend up into heaven.  We ask, “Lord, why?  Why did you come down to do all of this?”  The answer:  To prepare a place for us.  Or, in the words of Psalm 68, that men might dwell with Thee, O God, forever. 

        Your and my place is not Father’s house — not as far as we are concerned.  We do not have any right to Father’s house.  Your place and my place, as far as we are concerned, is hell’s pit.  We belong to the place of the damned.  We are sinners.  By nature we are rebels and haters of God.  We deserve the lake of fire, everlasting burnings.  But God sent forth His Son into the world.  And through His work the saved child of God has the right for eternal glory. 

        But more.  The saved child of God is being prepared for that place of glory.  Listen to Jesus:  “I go to prepare a place for you.”  Right now, between us and God’s house is a great gulf, a high mountain.  There was the high mountain, first of all, of our own sins.  But Jesus came and took those sins away.  He washed them away in His own blood.  But still more.  Having secured for us eternal life and glory, the Lord also now enters into glory, into heaven, as the pledge and promise that we shall follow Him and that we belong there.  When your time comes, that is, when the will of God concerning the length of your life and all the trials and things necessary to come into your life has been accomplished, you, child of God, shall go there. 

        And when you go there, no one can say, “What business do you have going there?  How dare you enter!”  Oh, no.  No one can say that.  Not to us as we stand in Christ.  For in Jesus Christ the gates must give way.  And a loud Hosanna shall meet you.  And you shall hear the words “Come, ye blessed of My Father.  Enter into the kingdom prepared for you.”  Prepared for you by what?  By Jesus, by the grace that is in Jesus.  He is the One who made it possible.  He is the One who prepares you for it.

        We ask the question:  “Why not right now, then?  Why can’t we go there right now?  He’s died for our sins.  He’s risen.  Why can’t we go?”  Jesus says, “I must go first to prepare a place.”  Certainly those words imply that we must be made ready.  What does that mean?  He must prepare for us a place, not in the sense of earning the right, but in the sense of molding and conforming and fitting us for that place. 

        So the work of God is not a work any longer of obtaining pardon, but the application and the molding of the child of God for glory.  The Scriptures teach us that our ascended Lord has a purpose for our present life.  There is a purpose for your life.  This human life, young person, is not idle time.  It is not “down-time.”  It is molding and sculpting time.  It is fitting time.  Our whole human life as a child of God is not regulated by chance.  It is not a meaningless riddle that I have to try somehow to solve, to eke out some type of meaning or significance.  Here is the significance.  It is a glorious significance.  It is found in Jesus.  Jesus is preparing us for glory.  Through trial and storm, each trial fitted for and unique to each child of God.  By shaping and molding us, He is preparing us for that place of eternal glory. 

        Do you think that your life is a meaningless, tangled mess, that it is snarled, with no sense to it?  Oh, no, child of God.  Look up to your Savior.  He is preparing a place for you.  That is why you lost your husband and now you are a widow.  That is why you lost your child.  Or that is why God did not give to you children.  That is the reason for the burdens that you bear this day.  And that is the reason for your physical woes, your pains of joint and limb, your diabetes.  And that is the reason for your heartaches and your sorrows and your difficulties.  He is preparing, He is working upon the vessels fitted for eternal glory.  He is preparing you right now, with His own hands, working as a master craftsman to prepare each one of us as His children for everlasting glory, the place where I shall glorify Him.  All my sorrows and all my joys, all my pains and all the good things, all the bad things and all the sunshine — it is all in His hands, fitting me for that place.

        The Lord is preparing us for that place.  The Lord says, “I go to prepare a place for you.”  I cannot explain everything that is involved in that.  I know what it cannot mean.  It does not mean, as I said, that he is working to secure the right for us to enter into heaven.  That is completed.  The title for our entrance into heaven, the inheritance, is ours.  It means that there is a work of love and tenderness that is necessary in our lives.  That means that you must not view heaven mechanically.  Do you say to your loved one whom you are expecting home for a special occasion:  “We have to get ready”?  When you are expecting someone special to come home, do you not get the home ready?  If it is a loved one, do you not say, as a father/mother, “It has to be just so when they get here”?  I go to prepare a place for you.  Not only you for the place.  But I must prepare the place for you.  It has to be just right.  I know its glory already.  I know that.  But, the Lord says in His tender love, “I’m preparing a place for you.”

        Those are words that are bursting in tenderness.  “And if I go,” He says, “and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”  He is saying to us, “If I don’t go, I can’t prepare this place for you.  It’s very necessary that I go.  But I’ll be back.  When I have finished My work, when I have seen personally that all of Father’s will is accomplished in your life, I’m going to come again.  And then the whole purpose will be yours.  You shall be brought to be with Me.  Where I am, there ye shall be also to see My glory.”  That is the purpose:  that you might be with Him in glory.

        Did you hear that?  There is one grand object in the salvation of the church, in your salvation, and one grand object in the details of your life.  That object is this:  that we might be with Christ, which is far better.  Jesus ascended and has returned to His Father’s house in order that we might be taken there and be with Him in glory.  Each believer, therefore, goes to heaven at the moment of death.  Do not fear death.  Do not live like a fool, never thinking about death.  Reckon with the reality of death.  But do not let your heart be troubled.  It may be that after seventy-five years, in a silent night, the Lord will come and your place is ready and you are ready and He will take you to Himself.  It may be after fifty-five years and through the rough door of cancer.  It may be in an instant of crashing metal, in what we call a car accident, and your loved one is taken from you.  It may be in a heart attack.  But this is what it will be:  “I will come again, and I will receive you unto myself, that where I am, ye may be also.”

        Death is when Jesus comes and carries us home.  That is what death is.  Death is not the work of a biological clock.  Death is not a chance.  But death signals that two things have been accomplished.  As a child of God, I have been prepared, and Jesus has prepared my place.  Then He comes and He says, “Come, rise up, beloved.  Come away with Me to glory.” 

        Then, finally, at the day of judgment, Jesus will come again and He will raise our bodies from the dead.  Do not marvel about that.  Earth could not hold Him.  He ascended up into heaven.  Nor can the grave hold your body.  It shall be raised to newness of life.  It will be a glorious day.  Think of it!  The only begotten Son of God, the crucified and risen Lord of the church, the great Moses—He will come leading the church out of Egypt.  The redeemed hosts of God shall enter into Canaan, into Father’s house, into mansions.  The gates will spring open when they heed the summons, “Ye gates, lift your heads, wide open the way; the King of glory enters with His redeemed host.”  We shall be welcomed home, home at last, with all of the angels.  And we shall be with Him.

        Will it not be glorious?  Can you wait? 

        Father in heaven, bless Thy Word to our hearts today, through Jesus’ name, Amen.

haak@prca.org (Haak, Carl) Reformed Witness Hour Sermons in Print Thu, 03 Jul 2014 21:35:53 -0400
420. God Shall Arise and by His Might http://www.prca.org/theme/resources/worship-devotional/psalter/item/3096-420-god-shall-arise-and-by-his-might http://www.prca.org/theme/resources/worship-devotional/psalter/item/3096-420-god-shall-arise-and-by-his-might


Verse 1
God shall arise and by His might
Put all His enemies to flight
With shame and consternation.
His haters, haughty though they be,
Shall at His august presence flee
In utter desolation;
For when Jehovah shall appear,
He shall consume, afar and near,
All those that evil cherish.
As smoke before his dreadful ire,
As wax is molten by the fire,
So shall the wicked perish.

Verse 2
But let the righteous, blessed of yore,
Joy in their god as ne'er before,
Faith's victory achieving.
Their joy shall then unbounded be
Who see God's face eternally,
Their heart's desire receiving.
Exalt, exalt the Name of God;
Sing ye His royal fame abroad
With fervent exultation;
Cast up a highway smooth and wide
That through the desert He may ride,
Jehovah, our salvation.

Verse 3
Sing praise, thou chosen Israel,
Who with the folds of sheep dost dwell;
Thou art God's joy and treasure.
Like doves on golden feathered wing,
In holy beauty thou shalt bring
Thy praise to God with pleasure.
Jehovah scattered kings and foes,
Redeeming thee from grievous woes;
Praise is thy holy duty.
For God did choose a mount so fair
That Bashan's height cannot compare
With Zion's fame and beauty.

Verse 4
The Lord is great, His might untold,
His chariots thousand thousand fold,
His armies ne'er confounded.
Among them God with joy displays
The glory that in Moses' days
Mount Sinai surrounded.
When Thou, O Lord, in glory bright,
Ascendedst in the heavenly height
Our captive bonds to sever,
Rich gifts from those who did rebel
Thou didst receive, that men might dwell
With Thee, O Lord, forever.

Verse 5
Let God be praised with reverence deep;
He daily comes our lives to steep
In bounties freely given.
God cares for us, our God is He;
Who would not fear His majesty
In earth as well as heaven?
Our God upholds us in the strife;
To us He grants eternal life,
And saves from desolation.
He hears the needy when they cry,
He saves their souls when death draws nigh,
This God is our salvation.

Verse 6
Ye kings and kingdoms of the earth,
Extol Jehovah's matchless worth
With psalms of adoration.
Praise Him whose glory rides on high,
Whose thunders roll through clouded sky
With mighty intonation.
Ascribe ye strength to God alone,
Whose worth in Israel is known,
For whom the heavens tremble.
O Lord, our strength, to Thee we bow,
For great and terrible art Thou
Out of Thy holy temple.


danny@socialvillage.ie (Super User) Psalter Tue, 07 May 2013 15:38:19 -0400
June Messages on the Reformed Witness Hour http://www.prca.org/theme/current/news/churches/usa-canada/first-prc-grand-rapids-mi/item/3625-june-messages-on-the-reformed-witness-hour http://www.prca.org/theme/current/news/churches/usa-canada/first-prc-grand-rapids-mi/item/3625-june-messages-on-the-reformed-witness-hour

haak smallFirst PRC, Grand Rapids and the Reformed Witness Hour Committee announce the messages scheduled for June 2014 on the RWH program. Rev.Carl Haak, pastor of the Georgetown PRC in Hudsonville, MI, will be giving some special messages related to Ascension Day, Pentecost, Father's Day, and Independence Day here in the U.S. Below is the schedule, which you will also find attached in pdf form.

June 2014 Flyer Page 1

cjterpstra@sbcglobal.net (Terpstra, Charles J.) First PRC Grand Rapids, MI Thu, 29 May 2014 07:44:41 -0400
June 2014 RWH Sermon Booklet http://www.prca.org/theme/resources/sermons/reading/reformed-witness-hour/item/3666-june-2014-rwh-sermon-booklet http://www.prca.org/theme/resources/sermons/reading/reformed-witness-hour/item/3666-june-2014-rwh-sermon-booklet

RWH June 2014 Booklet CoverThe June 2014 radio messages of the Reformed Witness Hour are now available in print form. The five messages were delivered by Rev.Carl Haak, pastor of Georgetown PRC in Hudsonville, MI and include special messages for Ascension Day, Pentecost, and Father's Day.

The entire booklet in pdf form is attached here. But you may also find these five messages separately on the website at the links below:

June 1, 2014 - I Go to Prepare a Place for You (Ascension Day)

June 8, 2014 - Try the Spirits

June 15, 2014 - A Father's Pity

June 22, 2014 - Keeping the Lord's Day Holy

June 29, 2014 - Freedom (in Christ)

If you would like to be added to the mailing list to receive this RWH booklet each month in print form, contact Judi Doezema at the PRC Seminary (doezema@prca.org).

haak@prca.org (Haak, Carl) Reformed Witness Hour Sermons in Print Sun, 06 Jul 2014 20:52:14 -0400
Christ in Heaven http://www.prca.org/theme/resources/publications/articles/item/3621-christ-in-heaven http://www.prca.org/theme/resources/publications/articles/item/3621-christ-in-heaven

This article first appeared as a meditation in The Standard Bearer (vol.85, Issue 16 - May 15, 2009).

Rev. Rodney Miersma was pastor of the Loveland Protestant Reformed Church in Loveland, Colorado at the time of this writing. He is now retired and llives in Hull, IA

But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. 

Hebrews 2:9

In just a few days we will be observing, as the church of Christ, Ascension Day. This is forty days after the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Most of the church world does not pay attention to this day, but if it were not for the ascension of Christ into heaven, all that was accomplished before would be in vain. 

Very appealing to us, therefore, is the confident statement, "We see Jesus." He was seen by the church in the old dispensation, but not as we see Him now. They saw Jesus in the types and shadows that were given them. In the temple they saw and were assured that someday God would tabernacle in the flesh when Jesus would come. They saw the king sitting on the throne in Jerusalem, witnessed the priest sacrificing in the temple, and heard the Word of God from the mouths of the prophets. All this reminded them that the day was not far off when their great King would come, who at the same time would be the perfect High Priest and the greatest of all Prophets. But as long as He had not come, they saw Him only imperfectly, and they continued to long and pray for His day and for the better things to come. 

But we see Jesus as He is exalted with power at the Father's right hand in the heavens. Our eye of faith is fixed upon Him who is crowned with glory and honor at the Father's right hand. The very sight of Him thrills our souls with present joy and blessed hope for our future glory with Him. In all our anxieties and cares, we can always know and profess that we see Jesus as only we today are privileged to see Him. 

This glorification of Christ could come only by way of humiliation. This could only be by the grace of God. As God's Son He was holy and without sin. Tender compassion filled His soul as He came to save His people from their sins. Filled with God's grace He came to us in the weakness of sinful flesh. His whole life on earth was one of humiliation. He was born in poverty and despised among men. His own family did not understand Him, nor did His disciples. He was rejected by the whole world, as seen by the betrayal by Judas, Peter's denial, His condemnation by the Sanhedrin, and His being sentenced to death by the worldly magistrate. All this culminated in His being nailed to the cross and even being forsaken of God. 

All this He bore willingly because He came to bear the wrath of God against our sins and to bear that wrath away. He was the Good Shepherd who gave His life for His sheep, that He might ransom them from sin and death and bring them along with Him into glory. Exactly because of His suffering and death He was crowned with glory and honor. This was the reward of God to Him for the work that He had accomplished for us while He was in the flesh. This was the crowning point of His entire earthly ministry. 

His glorification is that He sits at the right hand of God, radiating the glory of God, which is far more dazzling than the sun at noonday. All God's virtues shine forth upon Christ. There on the throne next to God sits Christ, with the scepter of authority in His hands. All the authority of God is entrusted to Christ, so that Christ carries out all the work of God in all His wide creation. Obviously all power is given to Christ in heaven and on earth, and thus we behold Him today with the eye of faith. 

We understand very little of that great fact, that God has entrusted to Christ all power in heaven and on earth. He is Lord over the angels and saints in heaven, and over the devil and wicked in hell. He is Lord also over the sun, moon, and stars, as well as over the entire earth and all its creatures. On the earth He is Lord over the wicked that rebel against Him, and over the church of which He is the head. 

This glorious ascension of Christ certainly had its effect, in heaven, in hell, and on earth. In heaven, first of all, which had its own tragic history. All the angels had been created good. But under Satan many of them fell, causing a breach in the angelic host. The devil and all his angels were placed under arrest, to be brought to trial when Christ would come. 

The faithful angels had a very personal interest in the coming of Christ, for they then would be united in perfect harmony under Him. Eagerly they longed for His coming and watched intently the development of history. Gladly they brought their messages to the saints on earth, for in that way they, too, were serving toward Christ's coming. No wonder they sang for joy in the presence of the shepherds on that wonderful night that Jesus was born. Readily they came to comfort Him at Gethsemane. They needed no encouragement to go forth to announce His resurrection. And they gave full vent to their pent-up feelings when they accompanied Him as Victor from battle and brought Him to the Ancient of Days, from whom Christ received the authority to sit at God's right hand in the heavens. 

For the saints already in heaven there was also enrichment. They had entered heaven with the promise that God would send the Savior to merit salvation for them. Meanwhile, the devil entered into heaven as the accuser of the brethren, saying that they had no right to be there. But when Christ came, that accuser was cast out. The right of the saints in heaven was sealed by the death and exaltation of their Head, Jesus Christ. They are now with Christ in glory in intimate fellowship with Him. Indeed, Christ is in heaven, and His saints rejoice in that forevermore. 

Christ's exaltation was no less felt in hell, the place of everlasting defeat and despair. All through the old dispensation, the devils had the power to assault those who were on earth. Satan attacked our first parents in Paradise. After the Mother Promise was given, he exerted all his effort to prevent the coming of Christ. To no avail, for in the fullness of time He came. During the life of Christ on earth, Satan tried to have Him killed. Finally, he brought Christ to the cross, and it looked as if Satan had succeeded. However, while the devil bruises the heel of Christ, the Christ stamps down on his head, crushing that head forever. The power of darkness is condemned, and Christ is victorious over all His foes. 

This victory is announced in hell, when Christ ascends into heaven. Having been condemned, those in hell know that they have but a little while before their death sentence will be executed. All their fuming rage against the church today results from the fact that they know that their cause is lost. Knowing this they put forth a desperate effort to wipe out the cause of Christ from the earth. Yet, when these powers of darkness have served their purpose, they will be sent to hell, where their death sentence will be fully executed. Their torment and despair will be intensified by the exaltation of Christ as Lord over all. 

And, finally, the exaltation of Christ means that His power and authority also extends over the earthly creation. God through Christ causes the sun to rise and to set; He sends the rain, the earthquakes, and the floods. He has power over the nations, so that in spite of themselves they serve His purpose toward the coming of the Lord. The nations rage and the people imagine a vain thing, but God has set His Son in heaven as Lord over all. While the world is making the measure of its iniquity full, Christ is preparing to come again and to take His own unto Himself. 

For Christ as exalted Lord is Head of His church. Christ is there for the sake of His people. All things are yours, and ye are Christ's, and Christ is God's. That fact is now established be yond dispute. Therefore, the exaltation of Christ has its rich and blessed significance particularly for us as His church that is still on the earth. We see Jesus crowned with glory and honor! What else can that mean than that our Savior is in heaven, and that as our Savior He has all power entrusted to Him to work out our salvation? 

As our Savior He instructs the angels, in order that they, too, in their own way, may serve toward the ingathering of God's church. As Savior, He controls the ragings of Satan and of the wicked, so that their wicked attempts to destroy us can only be turned to our welfare. We are in the midst of the battle against all the forces of darkness, but we stand victorious, for we are more than conquerors through Him who loves us. As our Savior, He provides every good thing and turns all things for our sanctification and for our ultimate glorification. "God is for us, who can be against us?" 

And this same Lord blesses us with every spiritual blessing from heaven. We have His Spirit in our hearts. We are made into sons of God. And if sons, then heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ. Now we suffer with Him for a little while, to be glorified with Him forever. In that confidence we wait for His return and His final glory in the new creation.

rmiersma@premieronline.net (Miersma, Rodney G.) Articles Thu, 22 May 2014 22:03:28 -0400
May Messages on the Reformed Witness Hour http://www.prca.org/theme/current/news/churches/usa-canada/first-prc-grand-rapids-mi/item/3600-may-messages-on-the-reformed-witness-hour http://www.prca.org/theme/current/news/churches/usa-canada/first-prc-grand-rapids-mi/item/3600-may-messages-on-the-reformed-witness-hour

First PRC, Grand Rapids and the Reformed Witness Hour Committee announce the messages scheduled for May 2014 on the RWH program. Rev.Rodney Kleyn, pastor of the Covenant of Grace PRC in Spokane, WA, plans to finish his series on the book of Job and then also give a special Ascension Day message. Below is the schedule, which you will also find attached in pdf form.

May 2014 Flyer Page 1

cjterpstra@sbcglobal.net (Terpstra, Charles J.) First PRC Grand Rapids, MI Wed, 30 Apr 2014 20:22:21 -0400